Duda to enhance tech for web design agencies

Clients can demand different features and complex functionalities incorporated into their websites, making these sites tough to build and hard to maintain, especially when workflows are interrupted by constant context switching as team members use desperate tools to accomplish various tasks.

Having the right tools in their tech stack can help agencies manage projects effectively. Fortunately, agencies can now adopt site building platforms and even white label them for their own use. Duda, headquartered in Palo Alto, is currently an industry leader when it comes to providing digital agencies with web design and development tools to speed up their ability to deliver maximum value to growing rosters of clients.

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While the rise of DIY website building platforms like Wix and Squarespace is often perceived as a threat to professional design as a profession, Duda has instead specialized in empowering agencies. As an affirmation of this strategy, the company recently secured $25 million in funding in an equity round led by Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE). The capital will be spent to further develop Duda’s platform.

Originally launched as a DIY mobile website builder, Duda has since evolved to be a comprehensive platform capable of building digital presences that can function as desktop sites, mobile sites and even progressive web apps (PWAs). It offers a drag-and-drop interface, customizable templates, full code editing capabilities, a widget builder, and collaborative dashboards to enable design agencies to deliver fully functional websites quickly.

“We’ve spent the past few years creating powerful and scalable web design tools for all kinds of web professionals, digital marketing agencies, digital publishers and hosts,” Duda Co-founder and CEO Itai Sadan said, “and we plan to use this latest round of investment to continue improving on our core products and features, as well as expand into new markets, specifically SaaS platforms that want to offer an online presence solution to their customers.”

Challenges for digital agencies

Websites have long been critical tools for companies to do business. But since having a website is pretty much a given in today’s landscape, companies now look to stand out by delivering unique experiences to their customers.

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As such, businesses are demanding more from their agencies. They want their websites to have features that go beyond just attractive web design. Even small companies now want robust and feature-packed websites that allow them to engage customers in a variety of ways, whether that’s in the form of minimized page load times, personalized sales offers or self-service appointment booking. In addition, clients want agencies to ensure that their websites are secure and compliant, due to the emergence of stringent privacy regulations.

What’s more, delivering a great website is no longer enough. Agencies also need to be able to effectively manage their clients and keep them informed regarding project progress, to turn around edits quickly, and to keep stakeholders in the loop regarding how well their sites actually perform post-launch. Clients now demand analytics data to see how well they are achieving returns of investment (ROI) on their site builds.

Meeting these demands requires agencies to have teams of highly skilled professionals. Handling all this work for multiple websites and different clients, manually and at scale has the potential to be prohibitively time-consuming. Failing to meet the demands of a client can result in customer dissatisfaction, lost business and reputation damage.

Agency platforms to the rescue

The emergence of website builder platforms such as Duda allows agencies to effectively manage website development and client relations. Duda provides a comprehensive suite of tools that allows them to offer the following features to their clients:

Drag-and-drop interface. Duda has a library of customizable templates that agencies can use to build websites rapidly. Text, buttons, and images can be easily added, and elements can be readily modified to the client’s preference. Duda also offers page section templates to allow agencies to create full pages for various purposes. Adding a blog or an ecommerce shop section to sites is simple. The created websites also support PWA functionalities, allowing for a feature-rich site with a seamless, app-like user experience.

Widget library and builder. Duda also has a vast selection of widgets that can be used to add functionalities to website. This includes social icons, a customizable PayPal button, appointment booking and contact forms. Duda also allows developers to build, customize and create libraries of widgets to address their specific needs. This can help them meet the demands of their clients and keep up with digital trends.

White label panels. Duda enables agencies, hosting companies, publishers and SaaS services to customize the website builder and its administration panels, allowing these organizations to offer Duda’s self-service platform to their users as a branded experience via API.

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Administration and collaboration tools. Agencies can also manage all participants in the site building process. Agency staff and client-side staff can collaborate working on websites and even pin discussion threads to specific spots on prototypes. Roles can be assigned to teams and team members which can define what each participant can change on the site. This helps create a seamless workflow that still allows site owners to be involved in the process.

Client management tools. Agencies can use Duda’s content collection forms to gather all the assets and information needed to create websites and import these elements directly to project libraries. The platform also provides websites stats that include site visits, page engagements, and visitor demographics. Google Analytics can also be readily integrated in any Duda website. Regular stat summaries can also be automatically sent directly through email, along with alerts regarding project milestones.

Regulatory compliance. Duda helps agencies make their websites GDPR-compliant. It provides customizable privacy policy templates and cookie notification. Through IP anonymization, Duda also ensures that no personal information can be tracked.

Beneficial to an entire ecosystem

Website builders ease the burden of agencies and lessen the pressure to invest in a large team of design experts and expensive software. As such, the support that investors are showing to these platforms come as a welcome development to stakeholders in the space.

A leader in this space, Duda is now poised to further develop its capable tools to provide more value to web design professionals. Through the availability of such solutions, digital agencies will be able to deliver better value and offer their services at more accessible price points.